Mr. Covey has a few suggestions as to what we can do with habit five. One is to focus on a relationship where we sense that our emotional bank account with that person is overdrawn. He suggests writing out the details of our situation with them from their prospective and to reflect upon whether or not we really had reached an understanding of them; how they see things.
Other suggestions include having someone keep tabs on you as you work with the concept of empathy. If they could report back to you how they felt you did in a week you might just find their feedback to be beneficial, as you strive to improve in this area.
Here’s a fun idea to practice: Cover your ears when you have the chance to watch other people communicate and see if you can’t spot what’s being communicated by body language. If you catch yourself using one of the four autobiographic responses written in this summary inappropriately, acknowledge it with an apology. Then ask for a do over so that you can better understand what they are communicating to you.
His last suggestion here is pretty cool, too! He recommends that the next time we do a presentation we should seek to clarify the concerns and needs of the folks we are presenting to. This way we are sure that we fully understand the audience we are sharing with. The second part of our presentation, Mr. Stephen R. Covey writes, should contain our concerns and needs, etcetera.
Pretty nifty way to be, don’t you think?